Saint Catherine of Siena has completed its sanctuary beautification project. Bishop Frank Caggiano will celebrate a Mass of Dedication Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m.
The project was directed by Duncan Stroik, a professor of architecture at Notre Dame University. Pastor Joseph Marcello said Stroik is one of the premier ecclesiastical architects on the country.
“With him, we’ve arrived at a design which I think is truly beautiful and timeless, which both looks fresh, and also looks like it’s always been here,” Marcello said.
The culmination of thousands of hours of planning, designing, building and praying, this project relocates the tabernacle from the side chapel to the center of the sanctuary, and significantly enhances the the church by prominently featuring the statues of Mary and Joseph, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests.
The project also provides a new altar, which visibly contains a relic of St. Catherine of Siena — a piece of bone taken from her body.
“Our goal has been to fill the sanctuary with beauty, and with layers of meaning, which is a manifestation of our faith, all in a way in keeping with the already-existing architecture of our church,” Marcello said. “We are thrilled that the finished product looks so ‘right,’ like it’s always been there.”
The side chapel is now a Memorial Chapel, with a memorial book recording the name of every person whose funeral has been celebrated at St. Catherine’s since its founding in 1955.